No Oil but Chevron Leaves Its Mark on Liberia

Jefferson Massah interviews Primal Barai, production officer at BRAC’s Poultry Hatchery and Feed Mill.

As almost all of the oil companies are shutting down operations in Liberia, we look back at what one of the biggest companies Chevron, is leaving behind as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility program in Liberia.

This is a special radio production on Radio Gbarnga bringing to the spotlight the impact of Chevron’s  Corporate Social Responsibility Projects in Liberia.

This initiative is in collaboration with Thomson Reuters Foundation and New Narratives as part of the Wealth of Nations Reporting Project for Liberia.

 I am Jefferson Massah with this special radio production. 

In 2014,  Chevron was one of the several oil companies that were att
racted to Liberia’s oil sector following studies that suggested the country had a huge potential for oil. Chevron’s entIMG_0040ry into Liberia’s market, followed shortly by fellow American super major Exxon Mobil, was a signal Liberia’s oil industry had made it to the big leagues. The pair paid signature bonuses and fees that added more than $100m to Liberia’s budget in the years 2011 and 2012. They both sunk big costs into exploring for oil but to date no commercially viable finds have been made and Chevron plans to leave this year when its exploration lease expires.

While they were here Chevron unveiled a large Corporate Social Responsibility project designed to give back to Liberians across the country. A glossy report available online boasts that the company implemented more than 100 different projects in almost of all of the counties. The projects coIMG_0043ncentrated around Enterprise Development, Health and Education.

Little is known about these projects and locations by ordinary Liberians. Well, in an effort to establish what impact some of these projects are making in communities they were implemented, we decided to visit two projects in Grand Bassa and Montserrado counties as part of our initial probe into Chevron’s Corporate Social Responsibility projects and their impact.